Bakersfield police: Rapist in ski mask strikes again

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) The day after a woman was sexually assaulted in her apartment in the early morning hours, her next-door neighbor decided it was time to move out of the complex.

"Yes, I'm moving out because of what happened," said a woman who refused to give her name.

The rape happened at the Haven Apartments complex at 231 Quantico Ave. in east Bakersfield. Police said that around 3:43 a.m. Monday, a suspect forced entry into the victim's residence, where he bound the adult victim and a juvenile. The suspect then raped the adult victim and fled the residence with items of value. The juvenile was not hurt, said police.

It's the third sexual assault to happen in just a little more than a month, with all three incidents happening within the same general vicinity. Police said the description matches that of a man described in rapes from July 18 on Columbus Street and Aug. 1 on Virginia Avenue.

"It's very worrisome," said Sonia Valdez, who has lived for five years at Haven Apartments.

In all three cases, the women lived in an apartment complex and all were bound and then sexually assaulted, but police are being tight-lipped. The sexual assault that happened on Aug. 1 at the Kristine Apartments is less than a mile away from the latest sexual assault on Quantico Avenue.

"We're not going to give too much specifics about any type of similarities," said police Sgt. Jason Matson. "At this point, we do believe them to be possibly linked."

The latest assault at Haven Apartments leaves residents feeling insecure about their safety.

"Other than sleeping with a bat next to my bed, I really don't know," said resident Sonia Lopez.

Police offered the following details about the rapist:

  • Black
  • Late 20s to 30s
  • 5-foot-8 to 6-foot tall
  • Medium build
  • Wore a black ski mask, dark hooded sweatshirt and shorts
  • Used handgun in the most recent attack

The Secret Witness program is offering rewards of as much as $5,000 for information that can be used to catch and prosecute the rapist, according to police.

Anyone with tips for police can call (661) 327-7111 or the Secret Witness program at 322-4040.